Second World War

News
Discoveries

Sculpture by Arno Breker—one of Hitler’s favourite artists—found buried in Berlin museum garden

Missing for 75 years, the large marble head, one of the artist's best-known works, was uncovered by chance during construction work at Kunsthaus Dahlem

News
Restitution

National museum in Stockholm to return stolen 16th-century painting to Poland

Officials in Poland and Sweden piece together provenance of work by School of Lucas Cranach the Elder

News
Art market

Code-cracking lot: Second World War Enigma machine on offer at Vienna’s Dorotheum

The Germans believed Enigma was uncrackable; cryptographers at Bletchley Park broke the code, contributing to the Allies’ victory

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Executed by the Nazis: the story of Vincent van Gogh’s brave great-nephew

This month the Van Gogh family pays tribute to Theodoor, the 24-year-old student who faced a firing squad in 1945

News
Second World War

The cultural consequences of the Second World War carry into today

From art restitutions to how museum adapted to wartime constraints, we continue to feel the fallout 75 years after the conflict’s end

Feature
Second World War

What can we learn from museums during the Second World War?

On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, we look back at how art institutions adapted to wartime constraints, from tours without pictures to child's play

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

The astonishing tales of how the Sunflowers survived the Second World War

To mark VE Day, we investigate the fate of Van Gogh’s masterpieces under Hitler and Churchill

News
Museums & Heritage

Four North American museums cancel exhibition of masterworks from Liechtenstein’s princely collections

National Gallery of Canada cites use of forced labour on royal estates in wartime

Review
Books

Book offers broadest and deepest study of Nazi culture yet

This is the first publication to fully examine the cultural output of the Third Reich, which, unsurprisingly, failed to produce great art

Feature
Obituaries

Obituary: Nathalie Brooke, a leading figure in the preservation of Venice

A remarkable cultural ambassador in London's art, political, and musical scene and on return visits to her native Russia. One of the founders of Venice in Peril

Review
Book Shorts

This book gives a first-hand account of Second World War art and propaganda

A vivid account of the art arising from the experiences of the artist, George Plante

Archive
Looted art

Top museums in Europe and North America face claims for Dürers looted during World War II

Poland and the Ukraine both want the Lubomirski drawings back

News

Churchill's 'strongest link' in the Battle of Britain: new museum tells story of Biggin Hill airfield

Bitter campaign against the new museum, comparing design to concentration camp structure, almost derailed the project

News
Regeneration

From the archive, 1 October 1990: 'We did not pursue any party political nonsense on the Museum Island'

On the 25th anniversary of German reunification, we republish our first ever front-page story, in which East Berlin museums chief Günther Schade defends his record and reveals how East German museums sold in order to buy

Archive
Exhibitions

Bode museum finally lays bare its war-damaged collection

An exhibition in Berlin surveys the ethical implications of restoring damaged art

Archive
Conservation

Fixing - or not fixing - the works in Berlin's sculpture collections damaged in 1945

Should they be left as a reminder of a dark past or restored to reflect the artists’ intentions?

Archive
Exhibitions

Germany’s Nazi past is evoked in Anselm Kiefer’s first retrospective in the UK

Dealing with the traumatic experience of growing up in a nation rising from the ruins of the Third Reich has been an important theme in the artist's work

Archive
Restitution

The message about looted art is finally getting through as Cambodia is inundated with returned loot

The restitution of Cambodian statues by major museums and auction houses is an encouraging sign

Archive
Nazi loot

Nazi loot claim for Tate’s Constable

Beaching a Boat, Brighton, has been claimed by the heirs of Baron Ferenc Hatvany

Archive
Restitution

Heirs of persecuted dealer Alfred Flechtheim reject provenance project over restitution claims

The Jewish dealer’s relatives say participating museums are not dealing satisfactorily with their claims

Archive
Films

The art of warfare: new documentary on practical applications of art installation during WWII

Rick Beyer’s “The Ghost Army” is the story of the artists who worked to throw the German army off the scent of the real location of Allied troops

Archive
Restitution

Getty Institute publishes Nazi auction data

Rise in restitution claims expected after launch of online German auction catalogues for 1930-45

Archive
Looted art

The Dutch government gives up its claim on Nazi loot

The decision not to appeal cannot but weaken its claim to other war booty such as the Koenigs collection still held in Russia

Archive
News

Germany supports research into Russia’s wartime losses

Archives of the western allies will be searched for clues

Archive
Restitution

Ten years after our report, the looted Benevento Missal will be returned to the cathedral

How The Art Newspaper changed the law

Archive
October 2010

The source of infamous forger Van Meegeren’s secret supplies exposed

A Scotland Yard report shows that the notorious Dutch faker bought lapis lazuli paint for his “Vermeers” in bulk from Winsor & Newton

Archive
Museums

Oligarch Marek Roefler opens museum in Warsaw

Collector shows off Polish art with French accent

Archive
Restitution

Books: How we got the loot back from the Nazis

The story of the US Monuments Men

Archive
News

Ukraine suffered “colossal” looting during World War II

New research challenges Russians’ claim that they own many cultural valuables from the independent state

Archive
Books

Books: French culture under the Nazis

How artists and the arts fared under the Vichy regime and the German occupation of France, 1940-44

Archive
Egon Schiele

The increasing role of the market in settling restitution claims

Shakeouts of Nazi-looted occurring increasingly in the marketplace

Archive
Films

Art in the media: Light and dark after the war at the Ferus Gallery and in the art of Georg Baselitz

Ostensibly disparate films illuminate art after the end of World War II

Archive
Second World War

Israel builds first monument to LGBTQ holocaust victims

Work is expected to start next month

Archive
Forgeries

Can past nuclear explosions help detect forgeries?

The inventors of a new technique for dating paintings say it can prove whether a work was made before or after 1945

Archive
March 2008

Two new Holocaust memorials for Berlin

Parliament approves final budgets for monuments to homosexuals and Roma and Sinti people murdered by the Nazis

Archive
Goudstikker

Successful Amsterdam sale concludes the series of Goudstikker auctions

Old masters, recovered as a result of one of the world’s largest Nazi restitution claims, net $20m

Archive
Restitution

Amsterdam sale concludes Goudstikker series

Old masters, recovered as a result of one of the world’s largest Nazi restitution claims, net $20m

Archive
Restitution

MoMA and Guggenheim file joint appeal against restitution effort

They dispute claims made by Julius Schoeps on Picassos in their collection

Archive
Goudstikker

Norton Simon Museum of Art and Goudstikker heiress to go to court over fight for Cranachs

Marei von Saher claims they are Nazi loot, while Norton Simon believes it has legal title to the paintings

Archive
Looted art

The German museum paintings secretly sold by the British government in 1946

Nearly 80 pictures, including works by Cranach and Kauffmann, were seized from the German embassy in London

Archive
Books

Nazi crime revelations raise questions about the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The late collector Heini Thyssen forced himself to forget his family’s Nazi involvement, but so did the countries that vied for his and his father’s pictures in the 1980s. This well documented book gives the details

Archive
Looted art

Revealed: six paintings in Maritime Museum were seized by British troops from Nazi Germany

Last month we reported that a Nazi picture in the London gallery was taken by British soldiers at the end of World War II. We have now discovered that other works of art were also removed

Archive
News

Growing evidence that Göring seized National Gallery’s Cranach from its pre-war owner

We uncover the remarkable story of how a US war reporter governed Hitler’s mountain retreat for a day and took control of Reichsmarschall Göring’s collection of stolen art

Archive
Restitution

Auschwitz survivor wants her art back from concentration camp

Roma portraits were made by Jewish prisoner on the orders of Dr Josef Mengele

Archive
Restitution

Holocaust restitution: Lack of funding and cooperation have resulted in failure and injustice

A short history of nazi loot restitution efforts

Archive
Looted art

Revealed: National Gallery’s Cranach is war loot

The painting was taken from Germany at the end of World War II

Archive
Second World War

The Bode Museum reborn in Berlin

Works removed on the outbreak of World War II are now back on view in the newly-restored building

Archive
Restitution

Restitution pledge by US museums remains unfulfilled six years on

Results of survey lay bare how the US fell short

Archive
July 2006

France promised Mona Lisa to Mussolini to avert war: The untold story of Leonardo's 1939 Milan retrospective

King George VI loaned 19 of his best Leonardo drawings to Milan for the most important exhibition on the artist ever held

Archive
Restitution

Books: The view from eastern Europe on restitution

These essays emanate from a series of Polish conferences

Archive
Pablo Picasso

Nazi Loot Picasso case can proceed in California

Marilynn Alsdorf had hoped the case would be thrown out of court

Archive
Restitution

War provenance art: a growing source of supply in the market

Christie’s follows Sotheby’s and appoints a director of restitution

Archive
Restitution

Ukraine returns Koenigs’ drawings

But the 139 works go to Dutch State, not collector’s heirs

Archive
Restitution

Incoming Russian minister dismisses German restitution claims

Alexander Sokolov does not seem interested in returning looted art

Archive
May 2004

The US finally unveils its Second World War memorial

It has taken almost 60 years to commemorate the 400,000 American soldiers who died in the conflict

Archive
Restitution

Russian Minister on looted Baldin collection: “This collection should be returned and we will return it”

A legal loophole may enable the restitution to Germany of a collection taken to the USSR by a Soviet army officer in 1945

Archive
Restitution

Supreme Court to decide whether Austria can be sued in the US

An American citizen is claiming six Klimts from the Nationalgalerie in Vienna alleged to have been seized from her uncle by the Nazis and then unlawfully retained by Austria after the war

Archive
Restitution

The Springfield Museum sues Knoedler over spoliated Bassano

Knoedler's poor provenance research led to the return of a $3 million painting to Italy

Archive
Paul Klee

How Paul Klee reached of fulfilment at the close of his career: Exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler

Works shown in Basel reflect how he made peace with the approach of death

Archive
Exhibitions

Weapons of mass dissemination: The propaganda of war on show at the Wolfsonian

Florida International University presents a brilliantly curated tour of the First and Second World Wars

Archive
Restitution

Dutch government yields Nazi-looted 'NK collection'

Thousands of works in secret collection are now being claimed

Archive
Exhibitions

Pompidou exhibits Otto Dix's inter-war drawings

German realism takes over Paris

Archive
Second World War

World War II still rippling in Austria: Restitution fears hamper the Klimt show, and a flak tower becomes a Kunsthalle

Is this the predicted 'chilling effect' on international loans?

Archive
Exhibitions

German prints and drawings from Friedrich to Baselitz and the Manilow gift of post-war German works on paper go on show in Chicago

The Art Institute attempts to heal old wounds with upcoming exhibitions

Archive
Exhibitions

What's On in New York: Brooklyn Museum of Art registers the interaction between design and technology; Giacometti's centenary at the MOMA

How apocalyptic crises in the twentieth century - the endgame - permeated the familiar and the practical

Archive
News

Austria can be sued in the US in claim that it forced Jew to give Klimts after World War II

Austria is not an adequate forum to resolve Nazi loot claim, says California federal court

Archive
News

Dealer Adam Williams on trial for selling Nazi war loot

The work was taken by the Nazis from the Schloss Collection

Archive
Exhibitions

To see or not to see: Parisian exhibition documents the history of war photography

The Museum of Contemporary History provides historical explanations for why war photographers took the pictures that they did

Archive
Restitution

Japan returns looted Paul Klee watercolour

A Kyoto museum has accepted “symbolic” payment for restituting a work of art

Archive
Restitution

Italian embassy in London pursues claim to Benevento missal

The Art Newspaper has tracked down further details of what happened to the twelfth-century manuscript during World War II

Archive
News

Germany’s first federal minister of culture since World War II resigns

The deputy editorship of Die Zeit newspaper and a better pension prove too tempting for Michael Naumann

Archive
Restitution

The World Jewish Congress’s Commission for Art Recovery restitutes works from museums in Hanover and Leipzig

Does this mark a change of direction for initiative, which previously only recorded losses?

Archive
Restitution

Wildenstein reveal key documents on alleged war loot

While the Kann descendants have solid evidence for their claim, the Wildenstein family are confident enough in their story to share their own documents with The Art Newspaper

Archive
Ronald Lauder

How should billionaire Ronald Lauder be understood; philanthropist, restitution advocate, leader or naive temporiser?

The heir to the cosmetics fortune is creating his own museum and would like to see art returned to Holocaust victims, but how effective is he actually?

Archive
Restitution

400,000 pieces of Nazi silver loot sold by US in 1950

British and French authorities dismayed at disposals that they considered illegal

Archive
Looting

Restitution battles rage from Seattle to Paris to Budapest to New Zealand

Matisse Odalisque restored to the Rosenberg family

Archive
Media & broadcast

Art in the media: History as a developing process

Lodz ghetto photos found in Vienna; Van Dyck reassessed; Tracey Emin in profile

Archive
Kazimir Malevich

MoMA reached settlement agreement with Malevich heirs

The works in question were smuggled out of Germany during the Nazi regime for safe-keeping

Archive
Colonial art

Books: a selection of the Art Institute of Chicago's holdings

Painting, design, and decorative arts from Colonial times until the Second World War

Archive
War & Conflict

Tate acknowledges 'View of Hampton Court Palace' as Nazi war loot, expected to compensate family

An important test case for museums dealing with war loss cases.

Archive
Books

Books: Wyndham Lewis and the art of modern war

This collection positions Lewis as an “anti-war war artist”

Archive
Joseph Beuys

Dia Center shows Beuys taking notes on Leonardo

Beuys drawings based on the Renaissance master’s famous Codices Madrid show revolutionary artist experimenting with the ideas of another

Archive
Restitution

Restitution round-up: France, Austria, Italy, and Germany

Recent developments in the restitution of looted artworks

Archive
Exhibitions

Picasso's reaction to the Second World War

“Picasso and the War Years 1937-45”, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 5 February-9 May

Archive
Restitution

Much piety and hot air at Washington Conference on Holocaust Era Assets

No binding agreements were reached and little effect on restitution is expected

Archive
Restitution

Austria makes legal amends by passing a bill ensuring restitution

Works acquired in a “suspicious manner” will begin to be returned at once

Archive
Restitution

Jewish family loses out to Louvre over WWII spoliation case

After an emergency ruling, the Louvre retains five Italian paintings that were salvaged after the war and the aggrieved Gentili family must now await appeal. Meanwhile, the Musée national d’art moderne has approved the return of more works

Archive
Museums

The end of World War II for Berlin’s paintings: The Bode and the Dahlem come together in harmony at the Gemäldegalerie

The State Paintings Collection has opened in Berlin’s Kulturforum

Archive
Ronald Lauder

Ronald Lauder returns Nazi loot

1829 Kipresnky painting was taken to Berlin in the 1940's

Archive
Restitution

Anatomy of plunder: Maurice Tempelsman finds himself at the centre of a scandal over illegally excavated antiquities

Jackie’s companion targeted for buying $1 million of hot Greek body parts

Archive
Looted art

US museums deny holding war loot

Museum directors summoned before the House of Representatives

Archive
Nazi loot

US Customs seize a painting from a looted collection

The collection was stolen during Nazi occupation of France

Archive
Restitution

Why did leading US museum director keep mum over paintings stolen from Kassel?

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts and its former director, Alan Shestack are castigated in the press

Archive
Restitution

Twenty-five Hermitage “treasures” gained as war loot still unclaimed

Watercolours and drawings seized by the Red Army in a Berlin bunker in 1945 have been on show in the Hermitage earlier this year for the first time

Archive
Restitution

Weimar gets a painting back as Sotheby’s returns stolen Tischbein portrait

“A very happy occasion” as painting looted by American soldiers returns home

Archive
Russia

Russian Parliament nationalises art taken from Germany

But negotiations continue between Chancellor Kohl and President Yeltsin

Archive
Nazi loot

Works of art stolen from Austrian Jews by the Nazis sell out and realise $14 million, five times the estimated total

Auction was an expression of piety, not of the art market

Archive
News

Texas war booty charge thrown out of court

Technicality spares the sellers of the Quedlinburg treasure

Archive
Conservation & Preservation

A symbol of the city rises from the rubble as Dresden's Frauenkirche is reconstructed

The crypt of the baroque Frauenkirche was reopened last month, with an altar by Anish Kapoor

Archive
Agnew's

The vanishing Major: Shady art dealings in post-war Europe

As recalled by Dick Kingzett of Agnew’s